Category: Life and Living

Friday Feeling [28] – Guide dog for the…dog?

It’s not only blind and visually impaired people who can benefit from a guide dog; blind canines can too!

Golden Retriever Jake had to have both of his eyes removed following severe infections when he was a puppy and his owners were understandably worried about how he would manage without sight.

But their other, younger Golden Retriever Addie stepped in as Jake’s official guide; helping him to climb the stairs and get around on walks.

Blind Jake and Addie.PNG

The two have their own instagram account where they’re often pictured dressed the same, and Jake wears a bell on his collar so that guide Addie always knows where he is to be able to help him.

Read the full story here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

100 truths blogger tag

I love a tag post – even if it’s one I asked to be included in! (in my defence, Sophie at Wife Mother Life was asking for people who wanted to get involved).

I find these kind of tags quite self-enlightening and thought provoking too. I hope you enjoy reading, and if you want to get involved then please tag me in your post or leave your link in the comments so I can have a look.

With no further ado…!

First things first

1) What’s your name?

Kelly

2) Any nicknames or aliases?

A couple of friends call me Sue (it’s an in-joke). Nothing apart from that.

3) Your gender?

Female

4) Your star sign?

Sagittarius

5) How old are you?

Recently 40.

6) Your relationship status?

Married (10 years in September)

7) Any children?

Hell no!

8) Any pets?

Nope, my lifestyle isn’t conducive to looking after other living things.

9) Any tattoos or piercings?

Piercings: In my ears: lobe, upper lobe, tragus, auricle, helix and conch/orbital. Plus right nipple and belly button.

Tattoos: Lots across my lower back up my left hand side, onto my left shoulder and upper arm and and across the top of my back. They all kind of fit together to make one big piece. And I have a floral beaded cuff tattooed around my wrist.

10) What do you like about yourself?

My height and my legs (from a physical point of view). Personality wise I guess my sense of humour and my empathy.

11) What do you dislike about yourself?

Nose is probably the only thing I’d actively change (it’s wonky) – that doesn’t mean I love myself, just that I can accept all the other things that aren’t perfect because otherwise I’d drive myself crazy! Personality wise, I overthink things, and I’m a terrible procrastinator.

12) Righty or lefty?

Righty

Lasts

13) The last thing you drank:

Water

14) The last thing you ate:

A boiled egg

15) Your last phone call:

My husband after work last night (I missed other calls later as I was in bed by 9pm!)

16) Your last text message:

To my husband about some washing!

17) Your last email:

To my husband (there’s a theme here…I do have other people in my life)

18) The last song you listened to:

No idea, something on the radio on my way to work?

19) The last book you read:

I’m reading “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller for work, but for enjoyment it was Marching Powder by Rusty Young.

20) The last time you cried:

On Friday, about a homeless person in the snow.

21) The last blog you read:

Vintage Vixen – she’s this amazing lady who dresses solely in bright and funky vintage clothes. She’s not long got back from India and is sharing travel pics.

22) The last person you spoke to:

Work colleague

23) The last place you visited:

The toilet?!

24) Your last holiday abroad:

Rome, for my 40th.

Have you ever?

25) Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

No.

26) Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes.

27) Have you ever cheated on someone?

Yes.

28) Have you ever lost someone special to you?

Yes. My Dad’s death was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.

29) Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

Of course! Not these days though; I don’t even get hangovers, really (that’s due to luck, not alcohol abstinence)

30) Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

Yes.

31) Have you ever met someone who changed you?

I don’t think so. Probably, but in a subtle way rather than a big change that I can think of.

32) Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

Yes. When my Dad was ill and dying.

33) Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

Totally. I kissed a lot of boys when I was younger.

34) Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

Not actively, but I don’t doubt it’s happened!

35) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

I don’t know? I don’t think so.

36) Have you ever kissed a stranger?

Yes! See number 33!

37) Have you ever had your own heart broken?

I thought I’d been heartbroken at the end of previous relationships, but in retrospect it was no more than (sometimes very) severe hurt. Again my Dad’s death was the worse pain I’ve ever felt, which counts more than breaking up with exes (or being broken up with)

38) Have you ever had sex on the first date?

No. But I don’t judge people that do. If it feels right then go for it.

39) Have you ever been arrested?

No. I’ve been in a police car once following a drunken row outside a nightclub with a boyfriend – they wanted to drive me home and I begged them not to because my parents would have killed me!

40) Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

Yes. It’s more about appreciating attractiveness and personality than something sexual though; like a case of wanting to be them (rather than be with them)

41) Have you ever done something you regret?

Of course. Said things, done things, not said things and not done things. It’s part of life.

42) Have you ever had a threesome?

No.

43) Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

Welcome to my mid 20s!

44) Have you ever misjudged someone?

Regularly, when I was younger. And I’ve also been misjudged in return.

Beliefs and opinions

45) Do you believe in God?

No. If God exists then he’s one cruel motherfucker.

46) Do you believe in yourself?

Not really. Not in a pathetically weak way, just in that I don’t think “I’m capable of doing anything I want to”, you know? I guess I know my own limitations.

47) Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Yes, otherwise I won’t get any Christmas presents.

48) Do you believe in ghosts?

I believe in something. Spirits, maybe. A presence.

49) Do you believe in aliens?

Yes. There’s a lot of truths that are kept from the general public.

50) Do you believe in miracles?

No, but I do believe in powerful coincidences.

51) Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

I’m not sure. I mean, if you think you’re going to fail, then you’ll fail, but I’m not sure the opposite really applies. I guess it helps though?

52) Do you believe in love at first sight?

No. I believe in lust at first sight, but love is made up of so much more than appearances, how can you possibly love someone so immediately?

53) Can money make you happy?

Not on it’s own but it sure can take the pressures of life off, and that contributes to happiness.

54) Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

No. I believe in equality, but I think feminism has gone too far the other way – the term “feminist” is too associated with man haters, and that’s not my bag at all.

55) Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Pro-choice. 110%. Don’t butt in to a woman’s individual circumstances.

56) Do you have strong political beliefs?

Yes, I believe that politics causes trouble and that there are no legit politicians. Everyone has their own agenda rather than wanting the best for the people. And I believe that Trump and politics should not be connected in anyway.

57) Do you have strong religious beliefs?

Yes, I strongly believe that religion causes trouble. Most of the background and history of religion is way too bonkers to be taken seriously. Having said that, if it brings comfort to a person then good for them.

58) What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Love, time and attention. And Calpol (spoken as a true non maternal being!)

Right Now

59) Are you eating anything right now?

No.

60) Are you drinking anything right now?

No.

61) What are you listening to right now?

Work colleagues typing..

62) What are you thinking about right now?

My lunch (food is never far from my mind!)

63) What are you waiting for right now?

My lunchbreak (I can have it whenever, but I’m prioritising these questions, lucky readers!)

64) What are you most excited about right now?

A long weekend away this weekend.

65) What’s your pet hate right now?

Winter. Just go away already. Oh, and my hair. I’m in fringe limbo – should it stay or should it go?

66) What’s your favourite thing right now?

Sleep. Early nights. I can’t get enough! (I’m so old)

67) If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Eating my lunch!

Firsts

68) Your first best friend?

Suzanne Churchill

69) Your first kiss?

Leigh Turner

70) Your first celebrity crush?

George Michael

71) Your first holiday?

Ibiza when I was 6 with my grandparents (my Mom and Dad couldn’t afford for all of us to go, so they paid for me instead).

72) Your first pet?

A goldfish

73) Your first regret?

Asking for the Barbie dollhouse instead of the Barbie caravan (my parents thought the same and changed it for me)

74) Your first job?

Saturday girl in a clothes shop

75) Your first childhood memory?

Sitting on the edge of the bath in the flat we lived in until I was 3, with my Dad wiping spilt milk off my face with a facecloth)

Which would you choose?

76) Love or money?

Love

77) Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook

78) Hook up or relationship?

Relationship. The idea of going back to dating now makes me shudder.

79) Dogs or cats?

Kittens and certain little dogs (like my Mom’s scruffy rescue terrier)

80) Coffee or tea?

Tea, although I do enjoy a morning espresso

81) Beer or wine?

Wine. Make it a large please.

82) Sweet or savoury?

Savoury. Crisps over cake every time.

83) Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert. Mouthy and opinionated.

84) Vampires or werewolves?

Vampires.

85) Seaside or countryside?

Seaside.

86) Summer or winter?

Summer, no question (fuck off winter)

87) Books or movies?

Books. I’m not a big film fan, I have too short an attention span.

88) Horror or comedy?

Comedy. I hate horror films.

A few random questions to finish on

89) Do you wish you could change your past?

No. I think your past brings you to your present, and if you’re happy with where you are then you shouldn’t change things.

90) What’s your dream job?

Something travel related.

91) What’s your guilty pleasure?

Crappy games on my phone!

92) What are you afraid of?

Being alone. Not for a couple of hours, but longer term. Loss.

93) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A lawyer (I was an academic child!)

94) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Eat as much as I wanted and never gain weight.

95) If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

I’d like to have more get up and go in everyday life. Be more dynamic.

96) Would you want immortality?

No. Imagine watching everyone around you die and being left alone?

97) If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

I’d love a chat with my Nan. She died when I was 12. I would have loved to have an adult relationship with her. Famous people don’t bother me that much.

98) Would you say you are happy?

Yes.

99) What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

Don’t put all your eggs in one boy basket!

100) Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Happy. That’s all I ever crave to be.

************

Want to get involved? Copy and paste these questions onto your own blog post! Then answer as truthfully as you can.

1) What’s your name?

2) Any nicknames or aliases?

3) Your gender?

4) Your star sign?

5) How old are you?

6) Your relationship status?

7) Any children?

8) Any pets?

9) Any tattoos or piercings?

10) What do you like about yourself?

11) What do you dislike about yourself?

12) Righty or lefty?

13) The last thing you drank:

14) The last thing you ate:

15) Your last phone call:

16) Your last text message:

17) Your last email:

18) The last song you listened to:

19) The last book you read:

20) The last time you cried:

21) The last blog you read:

22) The last person you spoke to:

23) The last place you visited:

24) Your last holiday abroad:

25) Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

26) Have you ever been cheated on?

27) Have you ever cheated on someone?

28) Have you ever lost someone special to you?

29) Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

30) Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

31) Have you ever met someone who changed you?

32) Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

33) Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

34) Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

35) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

36) Have you ever kissed a stranger?

37) Have you ever had your own heart broken?

38) Have you ever had sex on the first date?

39) Have you ever been arrested?

40) Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

41) Have you ever done something you regret?

42) Have you ever had a threesome?

43) Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

44) Have you ever misjudged someone?

45) Do you believe in God?

46) Do you believe in yourself?

47) Do you believe in Santa Claus?

48) Do you believe in ghosts?

49) Do you believe in aliens?

50) Do you believe in miracles?

51) Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

52) Do you believe in love at first sight?

53) Can money make you happy?

54) Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

55) Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

56) Do you have strong political beliefs?

57) Do you have strong religious beliefs?

58) What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

59) Are you eating anything right now?

60) Are you drinking anything right now?

61) What are you listening to right now?

62) What are you thinking about right now?

63) What are you waiting for right now?

64) What are you most excited about right now?

65) What’s your pet hate right now?

66) What’s your favourite thing right now?

67) If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

68) Your first best friend?

69) Your first kiss?

70) Your first celebrity crush?

71) Your first holiday?

72) Your first pet?

73) Your first regret?

74) Your first job?

75) Your first childhood memory?

76) Love or money?

77) Twitter or Facebook?

78) Hook up or relationship?

79) Dogs or cats?

80) Coffee or tea?

81) Beer or wine?

82) Sweet or savoury?

83) Introvert or extrovert?

84) Vampires or werewolves?

85) Seaside or countryside?

86) Summer or winter?

87) Books or movies?

88) Horror or comedy?

89) Do you wish you could change your past?

90) What’s your dream job?

91) What’s your guilty pleasure?

92) What are you afraid of?

93) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

94) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

95) If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

96) Would you want immortality?

97) If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

98) Would you say you are happy?

99) What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

100) Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Friday Feeling [28] – gone but not forgotten

It’s easy to assume that little people get over loss sooner than grown ups, because their minds are still developing and constantly being filled with new information.

Not so for this little girl, who’s been using her Dad’s old mobile phone to send text messages to her Grandad “in heaven” – even though he died 5 years ago.

Text messages to Grandad

Adorable!

You can read the full story , including the Twitter reactions, here.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Who am I, really?

This isn’t a confession post, where I tell you that Ive been blogging under an alias or anything! But it may strike a chord with anyone who’s been on any hormone based contraception or anti depressants for any length of time.

I’ve been thinking recently, for a while actually, that I’ve been on “potentially mood altering” prescribed drugs for so long that I don’t know who I am without them, if that makes sense?

Let me explain.

I first started taking the pill – Microgynon – when I was 17. Far from an adult (certainly in mind), not experienced in the world and not really properly mature. I was living at home with my parents, still at school studying A levels, working a Saturday job in a clothes shop. Life was pretty easy.

I was lucky with my pill, it suited me from the off. No spotting or breakthrough bleeding, no bad skin or mood swings, or any noticeable change in me. Or so I thought. But what if the hormones changed the future me? What if they blocked something in me that would have become apparent as I matured, started working, became financially independent? What if the change was subtle enough for me not to notice it, but it did make a difference somehow?

I had to change my pill a while back, because of my age (urgh), so I’m now on the mini pill which I take daily, instead of having a 7 day break (you can read what I found out about hormone based contraception as you get older here). Again there was no discernible difference. But lately I feel tired and not interested in going out. What if I’m blaming that on winter, and getting older, but really it’s the effect of the pill and I just haven’t put two and two together?

Similarly, with my anti-depressants (read my depression story here). I have come off them a couple of times, without my doctor’s supervision (don’t do that, by the way), and at those times I’ve returned to Mrs Angry-with-Everything-and-Everyone but that makes me wonder then, is that the real me? Are the anti-depressants just masking my true aggressive nature? Or did the depression make me that way and the anti Ds just put me back to my normal level headed self?

What if my pill was the trigger for my depression? What if, had I never taken the pill, I’d never have had depression and almost 20 years of being on and off medication for it?

The point is, I’ve been putting hormones and SSRIs into my body for such a long time, and from such a young age, that I don’t know who the real me is. Stripped down, no medication or contraception, me. What would I be like? Would my personality change? Would I hate myself? Would other people hate me?

And in that respect, my thoughts start to run away with me, and at times I wonder if I’m living a lie. Which is crazy!

It’s too late for me to ever find out, obviously. But I know that there are thousands, probably millions of people out there, like me, who’ve followed their doctors advice for many years and now blindly, repetitively, habitually take what they’ve been prescribed “just because”. I’m not saying that doctors have acted irresponsibly. Just that it’s something worth thinking about.

I’m too scared to take myself off my anti-depressants to find out what would happen, but at some point as I get older I won’t need the pill anymore, and it will definitely be something I take note of, to see if there are any changes in reverse that I was too young and naive to notice at 17.

I’d love your thoughts on this! Am I overthinking things? Have you seen big changes from long term medication? Leave me your comments.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Friday Feeling [27] – you’re never (tat)too old

Considering that one of the straplines of this blog is tattoos (that’s what the “tatt” in my blog name means) I haven’t really posted much about them recently.

But I love this story of a pop up tattoo parlour, specifically aimed at over 70s, who are giving older people that real tattoo experience, without the lifelong commitment. Apparently, getting a tattoo is number 7 on the bucket lists of people over 70 so older ladies and gents queued up for the (albeit temporary) tattoo in London at an event launched by rapper Professor Green and his Nan.

Over 70s tattoos

Not so sweet is that it’s all a big marketing ploy by Coca-Cola to promote their Zero Sugar drink, but it’s still pretty cool to see Nans and Grandads pushing their boundaries!

Have a read!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Single and moaning about Valentine’s Day?

I was thinking about this yesterday morning, and then in the afternoon someone shared this on Facebook:

Valentine's Day

And it’s so true! I don’t complain about Mothers Day because I don’t have children (purely through choice!) And I try really hard not to be cynical on Fathers Day too; I’m just happy for other people who’s Dads are still around and I encourage them to make the most of their time together.

If you haven’t got a Valentine, be your own. Spend some quality time, watch your favourite TV show, cook a treat meal or get a takeaway, maybe have a glass of wine. These are all the things the husband and I will be doing for Valentine’s Day anyway, and we’ve been together for almost 13 years! Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is a crock of commercial shit, unless you’re in a new relationship and hoping your partner will express their love publicly so all your friends know it’s serious, so letting it define your mood and behaviour is a bit daft.

Besides, bitterness is really unattractive, so if you’re hoping to snag yourself an “other half”, moaning about people who have already found theirs is quite off putting.

I think Valentine’s Day should be for everybody. Love isn’t just for couples. It’s for family, friends, your favourite work colleague or even your dog! So, even if you’re single right now, why not show someone close to you that you love them with a card, some flowers or chocolates? I guarantee they’ll appreciate it, and you’ll feel warm and squishy inside too.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Prostate cancer is now the third deadliest cancer in the UK

Last week it was announced that more people in the UK are now dying from prostate cancer than breast cancer.

I find that quite shocking. Not purely because of the numbers, but because there is so little media coverage, advertising and awareness around men’s cancers in comparison to women’s.

Why is that? Perhaps women are more open about health issues, and more likely to discuss them openly (although recent figures around the decline in cervical smear tests may suggest otherwise – read my post about the importance of smear tests here).

Perhaps its because prostate cancer is seen as an old man’s illness, and not something for younger guys to worry about?

Indeed, the latest figures have been explained as resulting from an aging population where men are living longer than previous generations, and so the chances of them developing and dying from prostate cancer are higher than before. Previously, deaths resulting from prostate cancer have been more difficult to quantify, because an older man with prostate cancer may die of other causes (e.g heart attack, old age) before prostate cancer can be attributed as the cause of death.

Well, let me tell you, prostate cancer is not just an old man’s disease. And it doesn’t always have symptoms. My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer aged 57, during a routine examination for another ailment, with no prior symptoms at all. By the time he was diagnosed it was already stage 4 and inoperable – all the NHS could do was offer life lengthening treatment. He died aged 59.

Today would have been his 7th wedding anniversary to his beautiful wife. They should have had many more anniversaries together, not just the 5 they had. They should have had many more years together; years of travelling, and eating, and enjoying life.

It’s time to stop only raising awareness of the “most popular” cancers, and time to stop an awareness bias mainly to women’s cancers. I’m not talking about funding and I’m not suggesting that women’s cancers don’t need to be highlighted. What I’m saying is that men, and the women in their lives, need to start being more open, talking about prostate cancer and proactively getting checked. Men over 50 are at risk, but aren’t offered a routine test by their doctor. It’s time to take control, ask for the test, and deal with the consequences.

Advanced prostate cancer can be treated with hormones to lower the development of testosterone which contributes to the cancer’s growth. Let me put that another way – its chemical castration. No man wants to hear those words.

Thanks as always for reading. x

Friday feeling [26] – you’re never too old for a flatmate

Meet Alexandra and Florence – the housemates with a 68 year age difference.

95 year old Florence admits to being lonely after her husband passed away and so, when she saw a homesharing initiative in a local newspaper, aiming to tackle loneliness by matching older people looking for companionship with a younger person in need of somewhere to live, she decided to investigate.

What’s in it for the housemates?

It’s a simple transaction based on needs, really. The older person gets to have some company, someone to talk to and some help around the house, while the younger person gets a reduced rate of rent,in return; often meaning they can afford to live in an area or home that would otherwise be out of reach to them; like Alexandra who is originally from Newcastle but needs to study in London.

Florence has had a number of different flatmates over the course of the pat 10 years, and she and Alexandra class themselves as friends.

Listen to them talk about how the arrangement works, in the video below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p05rps8z/42428782

Not only is this a great practical idea, it also bridges barriers between old and young, and can lead to some unexpected friendships and helps to keep the past alive.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

The importance of cervical screening – have a smear test!

Yesterday I had a smear test. I haven’t had one in ages, but that wasn’t always the case. For a time, in my 20s, I had to have one every year, because I developed pre-cancerous cells.

I don’t remember how the discovery came about (not because I’ve blocked it out or anything, just because it was a long time ago), but I think it was just from a routine smear test (I’ve always been strict with myself about getting them done) where the results came back showing some abnormal cells. I do remember being referred to the hospital for a biopsy and not being overly excited at the thought of having a piece of my cervix taken away for further investigation. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t pleasant. The sight of the needle alone was enough to make my legs go wibbly, it seemed huge! (but when you think about how far inside they have to go, it makes sense) and seeing my post biopsy bleeding cervix on a TV screen wasn’t the best, but the nurses were incredibly kind, and my Mom held my hand throughout (actually, I held hers, very very tightly – yes I was in my 20s and yes I still wanted my Mom). And then I had to wait for the results.

Well, the first paragraph gave the game away as to what the results were; I had pre-cancerous cells. I asked the doctor what would happen if they weren’t treated; how long would it take to develop into cancer. I was told it could be 10-20 years but it would happen. Not that there was any doubt in my head to go ahead with the treatment to remove them. I was just curious.

The treatment (a colposcopy) involved me on a hospital bed with my feet in stirrups while the offending cells were cauterised (basically burnt away). Again it wasn’t overly pleasant, but I was so glad to be in that situation, with a potential problem having been identified early on, than the unthinkable alternative. I had a couple of days off work, couldn’t use tampons for a few weeks and that was pretty much that.

What’s the message here? Smear tests are very worth it. Even if an anomaly is identified, it’s better to catch it at an early stage than have to undergo invasive and life changing treatment further down the line. As I said, I was then called in for a yearly smear test, to make sure none of the cells had been missed during the procedure.

The importance of cervical screening

From what I can gather, the main reason people avoid going for a smear test is either embarrassment, or fear of discomfort. There’s nothing at all to be embarrassed about; these nurses and doctors look at hundreds of female genitalia every single year and they’re looking for physical and medical changes; not judging your pubic hair or anything else. As for the discomfort issue, well yes, it can be uncomfortable, but the worst thing you can do is tense up because that will only worsen the problem. No-one really enjoys having a cold speculum inserted by a stranger, but the procedure exists for your own well being, so that’s that.

My top tips:

  • Wear a skirt – you can just hitch it up around your waist and back down again once the procedure is done. It’s just easier then getting in and out of jeans or trousers and you feel a bit less exposed
  • Get an early morning appointment so you’ll feel clean and fresh after your morning shower. Not possible? Take some wetwipes with you for a quick freshen up before your appointment. Not that there’s anything to be ashamed of, but you’ll probably feel a bit more confident and at ease if you feel fresh (like when you brush your teeth before going to the dentist)
  • Relax. I know that’s easier said than done when a person you don’t know very well is coming at you with an unfamiliar object to shove inside, but it will definitely be less uncomfortable if you can try not to tense up. Follow the nurse’s instruction on positioning, take some deep breaths, and remember that any discomfort is only temporary. If something really hurts, speak out. Medical professionals want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
  • Don’t worry. The chances are that your results will come back completely clear. If you get called back for another test, it may just be because the first sample didn’t contain enough cells or there was a problem at the laboratory. If your results do come back showing issues, deal with it then rather than worrying in advance. Treatment is readily available, very successful and will be offered to you as a priority.

I’ll leave you with a funny story I read in JustSeventeen magazine (anyone remember that?) many many moons ago, about a girl who went for a smear test the day after eating indian curry. The doctor asked if she’d mind if a student doctor came in to observe the procedure, to which she agreed. The doctor stepped out of the room while she was still naked from the waist down, legs akimbo so she let out a cheeky bit of wind which – post curry – was rather stinky and filled the air, and the doctor came back with the student who was a ridiculously handsome young male doctor. You can imagine how mortified she felt!! Always makes me giggle when I go for a smear test!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Helping others in January

Remember when I posted about a reverse advent calendar which I was going to be doing throughout December to donate to a local foodbank?

Yeah, failed on that one. Not that I didn’t have the food items – I went above and beyond the 24 days of Christmas and had a box full of tinned foods, biscuits and dried goods ready to help out a family in need. But time ran away with me and in between work, going away for my birthday and last minute house renovations due to late running builders I missed the bloody deadline to donate my goods.

All is not lost, however, because the nature of the items I had put together means they don’t have a short shelf life, plus less fortunate people need help all year round, not just in December. So I’ll be donating them very shortly, and continuing with my resolution to collect and donate a food parcel every month throughout 2018.

Of course there are other ways to help, and many of them are never more relevant or easy than in January when many people have received nice new stuff for Christmas and are looking to part with older items that may have been replaced.

Helping others

This article from Emerald Street has some great suggestions. Getting rid of old warm coats or bedding? Homeless charities can distribute them to the needy in these cold winter months. Having a clear out of cosmetics? Women’s refuge charities are grateful for items that help women feel like women in the midst of their lives being turned upside down. They may seem like small things to you, but to people with nothing they’ll mean a lot.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier in this post, the need for donations doesn’t end when Christmas, or January, is over. If you can help these organisations throughout the year they’ll be very grateful, as will the people who rely on them. Food banks often have collection points in local supermarkets, and some charities will collect items from your home or work address; so why not ask friends, family and work colleagues to all chip in and put together a big donation between a group of you.

Are you planning on doing any of these things, or other charitable help? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x